Creating Better Tomorrows

Discover the Magic of the CHADD Conference

Imageby Anne Teeter Ellison, EdD, and Sharon K. Weiss, MEd

THE PROGRAM FOR CHADD’s 23RD ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADHD is packed with the most up-to-date information presented by leading ADHD experts, including Russell Barkley, Ned Hallowell, Tim Wilens, Xavier Castellanos, Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Arthur Robin, Chris Dendy, and many more. Whatever role you play regarding ADHD, the focus of the conference is to bring you reliable, ready-to-use information.

Keynote addresses this year are phenomenal, starting with Timothy Wilens, MD. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America and Best of Boston for his work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and clinical researcher investigating the safety and efficacy of child and adult psychopharmacology, risk factors associated with executive function deficits and substance abuse, family influences on the expression of ADHD, effects of complex psychiatric comorbidity on ADHD treatment, and longitudinal outcomes of ADHD. Dr. Wilens will share his extraordinary insight on controversies and trends in ADHD treatment.

On Friday morning, you will be informed as well as entertained by the dynamic team of Patrick McKenna, Rick Green, and Umesh Jain, MD, the creators of the award-winning PBS documentary, ADD and Loving It. In their talk, “I Used to Suffer from ADHD, Now I Just Have It,” you will learn about the fears and myths of ADHD, and you will be inspired to take on and effectively manage your ADHD.

Finally, on Saturday, there will be a first at a CHADD conference. Award-winning, world renowned ADHD experts Russell Barkley, PhD, and Edward Hallowell, MD, will debate the nature and impact of ADHD. You are in for a surprise, as each will present the other’s perspective: Barkley will describe the gifts and assets of ADHD while Hallowell will discuss the challenges of living with ADHD. We are on the edge of our seats. How will this turn out? Come to find out whether ADHD is a "gift" or a "curse."

James Swanson, PhD, has arranged two incredible research symposia. Friday’s session features Claudia Buss, PhD, and Desiree Murray, PhD, who will present their latest research on brain imaging across the developmental spectrum and qualitative interviewing to determine treatment outcomes from childhood to adulthood. This symposium provides background for the next phase of the MTA study, and discusses the family risk factors and other contextual mechanisms that are associated with substance use and abuse in later life.

On Saturday, Michael Milham, MD, PhD, will explain the 1000 Connectomes Project—an international neuroimaging data-sharing initiative. Scientists have access to functional MRI (fMRI) scans on more than a thousand brains from thirty-three sites across the world. Last, James McCracken, MD, discusses his work exploring the relationship between remediation of executive function deficits in combination with behavioral and pharmacological treatments, and academic achievement. These sessions provide our most exciting research developments investigating the nature, development, and treatment of ADHD.

The conference doesn’t shy away from current hot topics with presentations dealing with ADHD and the Internet, diet and food sensitivities, and sleep and eating disorders. There is an update on complementary and alternative treatments and a head-on analysis of the controversial findings regarding the efficacy of medications in treating ADHD. We invite you to attend the panel comprised of adults with ADHD as they discuss their life experiences.

NO PREVIOUS CHADD CONFERENCE HAS DEVOTED SO MUCH ATTENTION to the struggle of living with ADHD in adulthood—with medication updates geared specifically for adults, sessions on issues related to executive function and organization deficits, and speakers on strategies for managing money. The important issues associated with building and maintaining relationships are also covered, including those associated with the workplace as well as personal relationships.

In addition to the research symposiums, physician CMEs will be well-earned with presentations including “An Update on Neuroscience Research on ADHD: Implications for Diagnosis & Treatment,” “Diagnosis and Treatment of Adult ADHD in Primary Care Settings: US and Canadian Perspective,” and “The importance of Cognitive Rigidity and Parent-Child Interaction when Diagnosing and Treating Complex Cases of ADHD with Anxiety, Atypicality, and/or Externalizing Behavior Disorders.” As always, there will be information on the newest psychopharmacological treatment strategies.

Educators will take away effective tools for addressing the challenges of teaching students with ADHD. The education sessions will cover topics such as positive behavioral interventions and supports, identifying and supporting children with working memory problems, and an actual prototype for in-house training. There will also be an eye-opening talk on how stress impacts the brain of students with LD and ADHD and the presentation of a blueprint for preparing students with ADHD to better face their educational futures, including specific information on test-taking strategies.

As much as anyone, parents can look to this conference to provide a roadmap to creating better tomorrows. Presentations that focus on strategies and systems for success in the family, discussions on parenting that include increasing motivation and information on navigating the educational maze and the real skinny on video games and their potential for good or harm. And who wouldn’t want to hear “Helping Defiant Teens: Tips from the Trenches” presented by Arthur Robin, one of the best-known authorities on negotiating the challenges of parenting adolescents?

Psychologists and healthcare providers will not want to miss presentations such as “Cyber Addictions and Exposure to Internet Sex and Violence” and “A New Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment to Enhance Executive Function in Adults.” Several presentations focus on the all-important arena of helping children and adolescents compensate for deficits in executive functioning and developing skills in that area. Other topics such as teaching emotional self-regulation to teens and complementary and alternative treatments for child and adolescent ADHD will be part of a program that includes an update on information pertaining to co-occurring conditions. Physicians and psychologists alike will benefit from the discussion “Adult ADHD Toolkit: Making Exam Room Decisions for the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD.”

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU, CONNECTING YOU WITH THE WORLD'S BEST EXPERTS, and providing you with the latest news about ADHD. There will be opportunities for you to meet and talk with our speakers, to network with each other, and to learn ways to have “better tomorrows” while living with ADHD.

Anne Teeter Ellison, EdD, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and former president of CHADD, received CHADD’s Hall of Fame Award in 2010. A behavioral consultant in private practice, Sharon Weiss, MEd, focuses on parent and professional training. Ellison and Weiss serve as co-chairs for the CHADD annual international conference.

This article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Attention magazine. Copyright © 2011 by CHADD, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without written permission of CHADD.
Posted in: 2011, June